Journey to the West – Day 20

Oops! We did it again…we forgot to get all of Adrian’s stuff together for work.  The doors in the camper creak loudly, so his trip to the pantry for Pop Tarts woke the Littles up.  Another “early” morning for us.  

The kids decided that it would be a great morning for a dance party.  The stereo was blaring before 9AM, and everyone was dancing in their jammies.  (I sure hope the neighbors were awake…if they weren’t awake before the music started, they certainly woke up from our loud dance party!)  

After everyone ate breakfast and got ready for the day, the kids colored and wrote letters & postcards to our friends in Minnesota.  Before we knew it, it was lunch time.  We cleaned things up and ate lunch, then the wee Littles took a nap.  Eliyjah and Maggie both slept!!  (I guess there’s something to be said about waking up early.)  While they napped, the big Littles played games and watched TV.  

When Eliyjah and Maggie woke up, everyone loaded into the van to go to the Fort Casper Museum.  The ladies at the desk gave each of the kids a discovery book.  For every age, there was a required amount of activities for the kids to complete in their book.  After figuring out what they needed to “learn,” we started our self-guided tour.  Fighting a migraine, I thought that a museum would be the perfect place to spend the afternoon…until I saw the first activity on the list: Learn how to transmit your name on a telegraph.  WHAT?!  The Littles LOVED this activity!  

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When, at last, everyone was finished learning their names, I threatened to slap their hands if they touched the buttons one more time.  (I know, I know… I didn’t earn a Mom of the Day award for that.)  From there, we learned about the oil industry in Casper, Wyoming…then about a battle fought here…then about the soldiers…  There was a “traveling display,” that the Littles wanted to see, in a separate room.  We walked into the room and looked at the pictures hanging on the wall.  After looking at the first several pictures, Ike told me that it was time to leave.  All of the pictures were hand painted images of people being killed during the battle.  I agreed with Ike, and we all went outside to see the buildings out there…several log buildings that were set up like the barracks where the soldiers stayed during the battle in Casper.  

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From there, we walked back into the museum to turn in the kids’ activity books and to get their award.  The kids excitedly got their certificates and discovery tattoos.  While I was helping the big kids write in their answers as we found them, I forgot to help the little ones write theirs.  I quickly wrote in the answers on Eliyjah and Benjamyn’s books while the other kids got their awards (they only had to answer one question) and gave the books to the lady behind the desk.  She asked, “Are you teaching your kids to cheat?”  I thought she was kidding, so I answered, “Only sometimes.”  She didn’t laugh…in fact, she kind of scoffed at me.  (WHAT?!!)  I looked at her and said, “Seriously??  They’re two and three years old.  They can’t spell.  They were with us the whole time.  They got the answers.”  (I saw a sign behind the lady that stated that the staff were all volunteers.  She volunteered for this job and was mean??  Perhaps she should be a volunteer at a place where she doesn’t have to interact with people!!)  She stamped the books a little harder than necessary, then gave me the kids’ tattoos.  The big Littles picked out a few postcards at the little museum shop, so I paid for those and wished the crabby lady a happy afternoon.  We walked out to the parking lot and saw Adrian parked behind my van.  It’s kinda’ nice that he has been getting off early.  We loaded the Littles into the car and drove back to the campground.  

The big boys, wanting some time alone, offered to do laundry for us.  They went off to the laundry room while the other kids watched a movie.  Adrian and I got ready, waited for the boys to get back with the laundry, then loaded everyone back into the van.  It was date night – we had plans to go out to dinner with our friends, Heather and Josh, while the Littles hung out at their house with their kids.  

Adrian and Josh got pizzas for all of the kids, then the grown ups went to a Mexican restaurant.  It was wonderful, enjoying some adult conversation.  I didn’t realize how much I missed “date night.”  Being at a campground, I’m not comfortable leaving the kids alone. Adrian and I haven’t been out, without kids, since before we left Minnesota.

After dinner, we went back to Josh and Heather’s.  We slowly got the Littles into the van – their stuff was strewn all over the house, and they took their sweet time saying goodbye to their friends – and drove back to the campground.  Eliyjah and Maggie were sleeping before we left their block.  We quickly set up the beds and cribs, then tucked everyone in for the night.  I think I was sleeping before my head hit the pillow.

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